Posts Tagged: Medal

Aug 10

Phil Hare Supporter Devalues Medal of Honor

On Aug. 1, I reported here and on the fact that Bobby Schilling, the Republican challenger to Democrat incumbent U.S. Rep. Phil Hare in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, had received the endorsement of Army Sgt. John F. Baker Jr., a Medal of Honor recipient from Illinois. Now, it appears, at least one female supporter of the stumbling, bumbling Hare thinks Baker’s endorsement means little.


In a letter to the editor of the Quad Cities Online® web site, Janet Casillas Ortiz wrote that she was not impressed by Baker’s endorsement of Schilling, because Baker no longer lives in Illinois. In addition, she inferred that Baker’s endorsement is no more meaningful than the endorsement of any other veteran — her husband, daughter and brother, included. Finally, she wondered in writing if “a puppeteer named ‘Bill’ was pulling Mr. Baker’s strings.”

While I appreciate the fact that members of the Ortiz family have served in the military, I must take issue with Mrs. Ortiz — who, it appears, did not serve her country in uniform — and her willingness to discount the value of the service of Baker, a retired Army sergeant and Vietnam veteran who earned his nation’s highest honor for service above and beyond the call of duty on Nov. 5, 1966.

Perhaps, Mrs. Ortiz should read the award citation that President Lyndon B. Johnson read in the East Room of the White House when he paid honor to Baker.

It included the following language:

“Sgt. Baker’s selfless heroism, indomitable fighting spirit, and extraordinary gallantry were directly responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades, and inflicting serious damage on the enemy. His acts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.”

Perhaps, Mrs. Ortiz should ask veterans at the Quad Cities chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America — the guys who spearheaded the effort to have a bridge dedicated in Sergeant Baker’s honor — if Sergeant Baker’s endorsement holds, or should hold, more weight than the average veteran.

Perhaps, Mrs. Ortiz should watch the video below that shows Congressman Hare telling Adam Sharp that he doesn’t care about the Constitution.

Perhaps, after reviewing the issue, Mrs. Ortiz will realize how wrong she is and retract her letter to the editor. After all, she is wrong. By a wide margin. By the width of a Hare.

Big Government

Aug 10

Military Medal Myths

Reacting to yesterday’s ruling striking down Stolen Valor laws as unconstitutionalBruce McQuain observes,

So – this means that you can expect to see the uniform you revere and the medals hard earned, sometimes at the expense of the lives of our military heroes, again relegated to the realm of costume parties where fakes and frauds will openly drape our nation’s most hallowed medal for heroism around their necks and make claims on the valor of those who actually earned the award the hard way.

Wearing medals to costume parties wasn’t illegal even under the Stolen Valor law.   Depending on the intent, it might be tacky.  (It would be fine to go as, say, General Patton or General Petraeus.) But wearing medals to a costume party isn’t meant to deceive.   Unless they’re extremely intoxicated or mentally challenged, no one thinks a guy wearing a Barack Obama mask or a Batman costume is really the president or the Caped Crusader, after all.

Similarly, contrary to widespread misconception, it was never a violation of laws against “impersonating an officer” for an actor to wear authentic military uniforms while filming a movie.   If they were wearing their uniform incorrectly — as they seem invariably to do — it wasn’t to stay clear of charges but because of sloppiness on part of the costume department.

Outside the Beltway